Tuesday, 29 March 2016

STOP. And mourn


Life is so fast nowadays. Blink and you miss it. Take an hour's nap and you're behind. We're constantly on the move, with places to go and people to meet, things to do and knowledge to gain, going, going, going that often we don't know how to. STOP. Or when. Sometimes, horrific things happen. Things that break our hearts and make us question our very existence. Family members die, friendships end, relationships fall apart and loved ones go missing. It's at times like these that we must allow ourselves to mourn. Don't know when to stop? This is the time. But we are so busy, busy, busy moving on and up and away that we don't give ourselves a chance to. And neither does the rest of the world. "Life goes on!"They say, in unison. "You gotta get under someone to get over someone!" They cackle. "Chin up, buttercup!" They coo. "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!" They sing. Platitudes, all of them. Said with kindness, while simultaneously encouraging you to "get over it". 

Whatever happened to a mourning period? In the Victorian era, widows were expected to mourn for two years, while children had to wear full black mourning clothes for a year after the death of a parent or a sibling. Some may see this practice as macabre, but I find it comforting. By wearing black clothes, the world knew that you were in mourning, and I like to think that they would be gentle towards you. Surely that would make heartache easier? Not having to pretend that everything is alright? Admitting that you are sad, and people acknowledging and respecting that?

The next time you feel loss, sadness or pain (and whether or not black is your colour), allow yourself to mourn. There is no shame in it, and it does not make you weak. If anything, you will be a stronger person for allowing yourself to experience the pain as opposed to hiding from it, or living in denial. Mourn and remember and cry and feel. They say that time heals all wounds, so. STOP. And give yourself that time. And give that time to others who may be in mourning, too.       

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